People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Correction

I made light yesterday of the fact that the area's unemployment rate was on its way down to zero, what with much of Southwest Virginia losing population.

In truth of fact, some of the area is losing population and is experiencing a rise in its unemployment rate:
Jobless rate rises
The Stuart Enterprise

Patrick County's unemployment rate rose in January to 4.9%, a one percent jump from the December rate of 3.9%, according to a report from the Virginia Employment Commission.

Patrick's neighboring counties reported the following January jobless rates: the city of Martinsville, 8.1%; Henry County, 5%; Carroll County, 6.1%; the city of Danville, 9.5%; Floyd County, 3.8%; Franklin County, 3.4%; and Pittsylvania County, 6.3%.

The jobless rate for the commonwealth of Virginia was 3.2% in January. (link)
Course correction in order yet?

On Moral Relativism

Is this our future?
Shariah in Minnesota?
Radical Muslim activists go fishing in troubled waters.
By Katherine Kersten, The Wall Street Journal

Troubling incidents began several years ago, when taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport--about three-quarters of whom are Muslim--started refusing to transport passengers carrying alcohol.

In November 2006, the six "flying imams" bumped the taxi drivers from the headlines. In Minneapolis for a conference, the imams were detained after engaging in what an airport police report called "suspicious" activity. Some prayed loudly in the gate area, spoke angrily about the U.S. and Saddam ...

Now some Muslim cashiers at Twin Cities Target stores have begun refusing to scan pork products, like bacon and pepperoni pizza, and insisting that other cashiers or the customers themselves do it.

In Washington, the Democratic leadership is likely to seek passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, of which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called herself, in 2004, a "proud" cosponsor ... which would bar airport security personnel from disproportionately questioning Muslims or people of Middle Eastern descent. (
This involves our twisted attitude toward Islam. Add to this the urgency with which many Americans demand that we look the other way as thousands of Mexicans cross our borders illegally each day, and the insistency with which they urge Pelosi, Kennedy, and Bush to grant amnesty to those millions of lawbreakers already here, without thought being given to the tens of millions more who will then follow in their footsteps.

As Katherine Kersten asks: What's going on?

A Times Apology

The Roanoke Times offers up a mea culpa this morning for having published that database of concealed carry permit holders here in the commonwealth.

After the horse was let out of the barn ...

The More Things Change ...

All this whining and gnashing of teeth over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales being in heap-big trouble for having fired several of his employees reminds me of another similar "scandal" that, similarly, amounted to nothing a number of years ago. It too involved an attorney general. In this gentleman's case, though, the scandalous activity involved a gift he had received.


A scandal. A clamor from the mainstream press for an investigation. A demand for an explanation from the President - Ronald Reagan. Calls for the man's resignation. A special prosecutor. Head on a platter. Hard time in the slammer.

Over cufflinks.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

Edwin Meese, Reagan's nominee as [William French] Smith's replacement [as attorney general], cannot be confirmed until a special prosecutor finishes investigating Meese's sloppy financial dealings, a process likely to take at least six months.

The investigative atmosphere has taken on a life of its own. CBS-TV revealed that Meese had been given a pair of jade-and-gold cufflinks worth $375 by South Korean officials when Reagan visited there last year, and had failed to turn the gift over to the Government, as required by law. He did so last week, contending that he did not know they were worth more than the $140 limit on such personal gifts. Presidential Aides James Baker and Michael Deaver and National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane all had turned their cufflinks in promptly after the trip. But last week seven other White House staffers were hurriedly coughing up jade cuff links. (
A special prosecutor was called in.

Funny how that "investigative atmosphere taking on a life of its own" seems to rise up when Republicans are in the White House.

In 1984 it was over cufflinks. In 2007 it has to do with an attorney general doing what bosses do.

Some things never change.

They Keep Trying That Which Won't Work

New York City is cursed with a housing shortage (especially at the low end) that has been going on now for decades. It also has the highest monthly rental property rates in the nation.
Oh, and New York City also has a Stalin-era Stalinesque price control / landlord control structure that perpetuates the problem.
So I was attracted to this editorial blurb in this morning's New York Times:
The Homeless Maze

New York City should pursue a change of course that addresses the real reasons why people can’t find anywhere to live except the streets and the shelters.
Is the editorial staff at the Times going to recommend that the city ease its stranglehold on developers and landlords so that the free market can work its course and reduce the staggering cost of housing in the city?
I know. I must be hallucinating:
An analysis by the Pratt Center for Community Development tells the story. In the 10 neighborhoods where the majority of the city’s homeless families come from, the number of families paying more than 50 percent of their income for rent grew by more than 30 percent, to nearly 114,000, between 2002 and 2005.

A turnaround won’t be easy, but the city can begin by addressing what most experts agree are serious shortcomings in the program called Housing Stability Plus, which was supposed to replace Section 8, the federal housing voucher program.

One sensible alternative would be to use an income-based formula that calculates assistance as a percentage of earnings, without setting deadlines that send those still needing help back to the streets. The city might also consider providing at least some of the families with Section 8 vouchers, a policy it abandoned even though it helped bring down numbers in 2004. (link)
In short, the Times proposes to solve the city's problem, not by coming up with a new way of dealing with the problem, but by tweaking the problem. A problem that has existed there since World War II. A problem that their solution will only exacerbate.
Will they ever learn ...

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black ...

And Mothers Voice Anger Over Costs of Pediatricians